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Montgomery, Greene, Clark, and Warren County Ohio: Divorce Fact 8/10: When Minor Children are involved you must attend a seminar

WHEN MINOR CHILDREN ARE INVOLVED YOU WILL NEED TO ATTEND A SEMINAR: If the case involves children, Ohio law mandates that both parties attend a parenting seminar prior to the final hearing.  The purpose of the seminar is to educate both parents as to how children are affected by a divorce and ways in which to manage the adjustment.  The class is usually two hours and is held in the evenings.  The location of the seminar varies by county, as each county has its own seminar provider.  For instance, in Montgomery County the seminar is held at Sinclair Community College in downtown Dayton, Ohio.

Brought to you by the Miami Valley Ohio law offices of Morrison & Nicholson.  Call today to schedule a free consultation (937) 432 – 9775.

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Are Gay and Lesbian Couples Disadvantaged When Seeking Custody in Ohio?

Gay and lesbian couples are often concerned that their “non-traditional family” will be a disadvantage in custody decisions. While technically this issue is never to be determinative of custody disputes, lest tgay_adoptionhe Court violate the Equal Protection Clause, many gay and lesbian couples feel that their sexual orientation played a role in the ultimate disposition of the Court.   Putting aside potential biases of certain judges, there is at least one case that seems to lend credence to those concerns.  In 2008, the Second Appellant District in Clark County decided a case by the name of Page v. Page in which the Court specifically stated that a homosexual relationship of a mother caused adverse affects to the minor children and warranted a change of custody from that mother to the father.  The facts of that case can be summarized as follows:

Four years after the mother was designated the residential parent of both children, the father filed a motion to modify the allocation of parental rights and responsibilities.  The common pleas trial Court granted the father’s motion and awarded him custody.  The appellate court held that the common pleas court did not err in finding that a change of circumstances occurred as there was evidence that, as a collateral result of the mother’s relationship with her same-sex partner, both children had experienced personality disorders, and therefore, modification of custody was in the children’s best interest. The court determined that the adverse collateral effects of the mother’s relationship with her partner and the partner’s role in the children’s lives showed little room for improvement in the future.

While the Court was careful to say that it was not basing its decision on the simple fact that the mother was a lesbian, but rather the collateral affects that her relationship had on the children, it should give pause to the gay and lesbian couples fighting for custody.  This is something to keep an eye on in the future as more and more gay and lesbian couples fight for custody of one of the partner’s minor children.

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Can the Child choose which Parent they want to live with in Ohio?

It is one of the most common myths that people maintain when it comes to child custody: Once a child reaches a certain age, that child can choose which parent to live with, right? Well, that is actually incorrect. However, this myth is based in history and actually grounded is truth. Under former Ohio law, once a child attained the age of 12 years old,child_support_ohio_termination that child had the power to choose which parent was to be deemed the residential parent and legal custodian of that child. However, under current Ohio law, minor children no longer have the ability to choose which parent they want to live with on a permanent basis. In other words, when the Court issues its final divorce decree which, among other things, allocates parental rights and responsibilities, it is not the child that determines which parent is to be the residential parent, even if that child is a teenager. Ohio law treats a 14 year old in the same manner as a 4 year old when it comes to determining which parent with be designated as the residential parent. And, like almost all issues involving minor children, the determination is guided by what is in the “best interest of the child”.

So, divorcing parents, remember that your child will not be choosing for or against you when it comes to custody issues. Rather, the Court will decide and you need to focus your energy on convincing the Court that it would be in the best interest of the child to live with you … do not work on convincing the child that he or she should choose you. Which, in truth, is not fair to the child anyway.

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Dayton Ohio Office: Social Security disability attorneys




The Law Offices of John T. Nicholson’s Dayton office is located at 5540 Far Hills Ave., Dayton, Ohio 45429. Please check in with receptionist upon arrival. If you have questions regarding a potential legal matter, such as a claim for disability benefits or workers compensation, please call us at 937-432-9775.

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Dayton Ohio Disability Attorney 39.666641, -84.161802

 

Ohio Office Locations:

 

 Dayton * Cincinnati * Columbus * FranklinPiqua *

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All other states call 1-800-596-1533

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Dayton, Ohio Social Security office among the slowest in the country

Dayton, Ohio Social Security office among the slowest in the country

clockAccording to a recent article in the Dayton Daily News, Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown’s state director met with officials from the Social Security Administration to discuss an enormous backlog of appeals for disability benefits.

The paper previously reported that the Social Security Administration’s Dayton hearing office has been ranked the second slowest in the country for the past two fiscal years. The speed relates to the office’s ability to process appeals for disability benefits. The office says it is working to reduce wait times, but Senator Brown says the action has not been sufficient. Those in the SSA are hoping that wait times continue to drop thanks to increasingly prevalent use of electronic medical records and a recently introduced video-hearing option.

Unfortunately, most applications are denied, but some choose to appeal their cases and it’s these people who have suffered due to the lengthy wait times in Dayton. Last year in Ohio some 21,511 people filed appeals for benefits, including 2,188 at the Dayton office.

In 2011, the average wait time for a decision in an appeal at the Dayton office was an astounding 491 days. This compares to a much shorter national average of 345 days. In 2011, only the office in Buffalo, New York was slower than Dayton’s. In 2010 the bottom two rungs were occupied by Dayton and another nearby Ohio city notorious for slow processing: Columbus, Ohio. That year the average wait time in Dayton came in at a whopping 596 days.

The Senator pointed out how important such hearings are, given that many are suffering terrible disabilities and need an answer quickly about whether they can begin receiving benefits. Slow processing times present a special hardship for those who lack income for necessities such as medication and health care. This can mean that some applicants fall even deeper into poverty or become even more disabled than they already were. Tragically, the Wall Street Journal recently discussed how since 2005 some 15,000 people have died while waiting for an administrative law judge to rule on their appeals.

If you think you may be entitled to Social Security Disability benefits and have questions, call The Law Offices of John T. Nicholson at 1-800-596-1533 for a free consultation today.

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